WARREN - Richard Morton Hess, "Dick" to his friends, 88, of Warren, died Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, at St. Joseph Health Center.
He was born Feb. 23, 1925, in Fort Wayne, Ind., a son of the late Elmer Eugene Hess and the late Edna Adina Boegli.
He married Phyllis Irene Lafferty Hess on Dec. 9, 1951, and loved her dearly through 63 years of marriage.
Richard served in World War II with the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team. He was involved in the Pacific Theater of Operations from May 1943 until January 1946. His decorations include the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy.
Richard was always a builder and creator, never idle, from dawn to dark always building something. Attending school on the GI Bill, he graduated in 1948 from Indiana Technical College (now Indiana Institute of Technology) with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. And, after a year at Wean Engineering, he was employed in process engineering at GM-Packard Electric Division (now Delphi) for 38 years.
In 2001, he was named to the Packard Electric Excellence Hall of Fame. On his plaque they stated, "He made things work."
Richard always had a strong sense of civic duty and concern for his community. He served in various positions on the Howland Township Board of Zoning Appeals and Zoning Commission for 23 years. He also served as the PTA president for Morgandale Elementary School for two years. As the Warren-Trumbull County Soap Box Derby clinic director from 1961 through 1968, he was able to share his love for designing and building things with the youths in the community.
Richard had many hobbies, but two in particular led to a great deal of community involvement.
He was an active member of the East Ohio Lapidary Club for more than 40 years. A fine craftsman, Dick not only instructed members of the club but he reached out to the community to share his knowledge of semi-precious stones, gemstones and jewelry making.
After starting to collect stamps at the age of 10, Dick was also a member of the Warren Area Stamp Club for more than 40 years, winning awards at Garfield-Perry and other shows. Over the years, he created numerous displays of stamps at the Warren Post Office and lapidary work at the Warren Public Library.
Another hobby gave him great satisfaction. Dick loved to propagate trees, in particular walnut trees. He planted thousands.
Richard was a member of First United Methodist Church. He also enjoyed the American Legion Post 700 and the Howland VFW.
Richard is survived by his wife, Phyllis I. Hess of Warren; sons Kenneth (Connie) Hess of Carmel, Calif., and Jeffrey (Patti) Hess of Spring, Texas; grandchildren Kyle (Katie) Hess, Christopher (Jade) Hess, Amber (Agustya) Hess Mehta, Logan Nelson and Lucy Nelson; great-grandchildren Miles and Tara Hess; brothers Eugene (Jean) Hess of Lawton, Okla., and Corliss Hess of Fort Wayne, Ind.; and sisters Pauline Tawes of Florida and Marilyn (Darrell) Gerig of Monroe, Ind.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Gretchen Friend; and his beloved daughter, Linda "Peaches" (Mitchell) Nelson of Murrieta, Calif., who passed on Sept. 5.
Services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at the Carl W. Hall Funeral Home, where Pastor Dan Devadan will officiate. Friends may call from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial tributes be directed to the Disabled American Veterans, 2044 Youngstown Road S.E., Warren, OH 44484, or to the First United Methodist Church of Warren.